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Old 06-23-2021, 09:46 PM   #1
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Broker accountability

I have been moving forward on the purchase of a trawler over the past month. I am working directly with the seller's broker. I have completed the survey, haul out, oil samples on two engines, two transmissions and generator.
I was able to take a second trip on the boat to get some hours on the engines prior to a second oil sample being taken (first oil sample came back questionable) After the trip, I realized the hour meter had not moved. I brought this issue to the broker's attention. He said there was an extra 200 hours on the meters and that the owner was keeping track of them. He also said he thought he told me. I told him that I had not been told and that his add indicates the lower number of hours and does not mention any discrepancy.
I do not think I would have moved on the boat if I had known the hour meters were not accurate. A broken hour meter seems like a pretty major item for a broker to reveal. I feel like I have been deceived and have shelled out a large chunk of money that would still be in my account if I had been given the full story. What accountability does the broker have?
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Old 06-23-2021, 10:02 PM   #2
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I can't answer the legal question.

But, as a practical matter, unless it is a relatively new boat, or engine or has had very few owners and the most recent one for a long time, I don't believe the meter anyway. There are a million ways they could be wrong.

I'd be curious forbthe broker's story about how the hours meters came to have too many hours. I have one like that-- I replaced an engine. And, I have the receipts to prove it.

If the owner can provide a log book for their time of ownership, that might put your mind more at ease, perhaps. Ask the broker?

Ultimately, unless this is a relatively new boat, or was supposed to be a super new engine, if you want the boat and all.seems good by inspection and trial, get your ounce of blood out of the price if you can, and enjoy the boat. I think.
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Old 06-23-2021, 10:06 PM   #3
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In practice, none. Even the printed Ads all have disclaimers about accuracy, etc. In my experience, most brokers are sloppy and careless with details in the beat case, and scum otherwise. If you really think you can show he intentionally deceived you you might be able to go to small claims and recover you costs.
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Old 06-23-2021, 10:10 PM   #4
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My opinion is that the broker is a facilitator only and the buyer needs to do their due diligence.

As indicated above hour meters mean nothing. Hour meters are cheap, and get replaced from time to time on many bopats for a variety of reasons, not all dubious in nature.

200 hours is also a big nothing.
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Old 06-23-2021, 10:23 PM   #5
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In my log I have a note that I once left the ignition key on, on one engine, and it reads 19 hours higher than it should as a result.
S*** happens.
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Old 06-23-2021, 11:15 PM   #6
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In my experience, most brokers are sloppy and careless with details in the beat case, and scum otherwise.
A good summary.

Here, you have two red flags: a broken (or unplugged) hour meter and a questionable oil sample. I'd ask for bulletproof documentation explaining both issues, or discount the price by a repower.
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Old 06-23-2021, 11:51 PM   #7
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On a diesel engine 200 hours are a rounding error. On a gas engine it would be more important. Hour meters are just a possible indication of the engine hours. I would never put much faith in them unless the boat was almost new.
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Old 06-24-2021, 02:52 AM   #8
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But,are the unrecorded hours really 200? They both stopped working the same time? Odd. I always look at hours, and discrepancy between twins. It can indicate one was unserviceable for a time,I`d want to know why.

Whether the broker disclosed it is a question of fact, if not it`s a misrepresentation, or worse, by silence. If he can state the hours in the advert he can disclose the hours are 200 hours low.
I don`t think defective hour meters are a big item, but what they don`t reveal could be. As the owner is "keeping track of them' ask for the records, look at whether they were created all at one time, like different pens, ink color, where/how they were kept, etc. Ie.are they a true contemporaneous record or produced to satisfy you?
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Old 06-24-2021, 06:28 AM   #9
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Failure to disclose is a red flag. What else is being swept under the rug? Your claim for costs might be bolstered by the lack of disclosure in the ad.

Reducing the price for repower might help.
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Old 06-24-2021, 07:53 AM   #10
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Look at the bright side - you now have a bunch more leverage as a buyer. And I wouldn't believe for a second that the hours discrepancy is 200hr. It could be anything. And the meters failed on both engines at the same time? How many hours are supposedly on the engines, with or without the extra 200? You can also disregard anything that the broker has told you about the boat. Assume it is all BS, which is probably a good assumption going into any deal anyway.
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:05 AM   #11
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Most brokers, not all, are full of s**t. We just had one screw us on buying a boat.
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:27 AM   #12
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Seems to me most of you are misreading the meters. My read is they are higher than actual hours.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrewc;
He said there was an extra 200 hours on the meters and that the owner was keeping track of them.
Andrew, if you are looking for a way out of the sale, you have it. If not, you have a pocket full of bargaining chips.
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:44 AM   #13
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The broker has very little accountability. Only if he committed fraud in some way would he be accountable and with all the disclaimers, clearly none here. Now, he also represents only the seller in this situation, serving as his agent. One more bit of information. Unless in Florida or California the broker is not subject to any licensing.

As to the hour meter, should be picked up in a survey if not working as well as if any maintenance records or logs were provided. Otherwise, the reality is you're buying a boat with completely unknown hours, always were, even if hour meter was working today. Again, no regulations like odometer reporting on cars.

As to the truth of what you're being told, does the ad show more hours than the hour meter? If not, the seller lied and by how much you still have no idea. But then I hope you didn't assume everything in the ad was the truth. That would be dangerous.
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Old 06-24-2021, 08:50 AM   #14
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most brokers, not all, are full of s**t. We just had one screw us on buying a boat.

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Old 06-24-2021, 08:51 AM   #15
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I guess I would just write it off as a misunderstanding at this point but I would surely check the owners log or ship log.

If you are looking for something from the broker, forget it. They are like realtors or used car salesmen, slimey!

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Old 06-24-2021, 09:03 AM   #16
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Sounds like a good reason to have your own broker.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:10 AM   #17
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Some very good points made. Unless you hire a buyer’s broker, the broker works for the seller. Brokers are often sloppy and lazy so just assume they all are and verify everything. Hour meters can never be trusted so ask for the maintenance logs. While I don’t keep the prettiest logs you can see dates and engine hours of all my oil changes and zinc changes as well as repairs. This is at least some level of proof that maintenance and tracking is being performed.

I know you feel cheated, you have money spent only at the last minute to find you have been deceived. Was this on purpose? Possibly! Let’s look at it this way, If you have been deceived, better to walk from a little money than to buy and spend a fortune.

Before you walk, ask your self, does everything add up. In other words, by the little you have told me I have a mental image of a boat that is tired in all areas and was the lowest priced boat in its class. If this is the case then the story seems to be adding up. If this is a nice looking well kept boat that oddly has non working hour meters and poor oil sample, we’ll that doesn’t add up and I suspect the worst.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:25 AM   #18
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Run away from this deal quick. Find a good BUYERS broker, and begin again. A buyers broker won't cost you anything. They split the commission with the selling broker.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:36 AM   #19
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But,are the unrecorded hours really 200?
Bingo. He's shady already, why stop at the number.
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:04 AM   #20
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Get everything in writing, signed by the seller and broker. When asking for this, see who squirms, tries to dodge, or has excuses why they can't/won't sign.


In this case, add an addendum to the purchase contract that says the "seller and broker acknowledge the hour meter is broke and is inaccurate by 200 hrs."
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